Petlakow Pe-2 1945. - History
016c Section June 06, 1945
The consolidation of Bolshevik power in CCCP made the development of the state even more limited. Agriculture and industry have been neglected. The Bolsheviks were arming themselves to destroy any counter-revolution. Stalin, who was a land general, did not understand the military aviation and navy. His armaments were directed only at land operations. Do not be surprised, therefore, that at the beginning of the Second World War, Soviet aviation was neglected.
At this point, we must make one more important remark. The Soviets so far recognize the beginning of the Second World War, which they call the "Ojczyźniana" war, from June 22, 1941, when they attacked their German army. The Soviet attack on Rzeczpospolita on September 17, 1939, they consider their interests to be secured. According to these facts, they teach their children in schools.
In 1939, sowici did not have modern aviation and bombers in particular. It quickly turned out that it was necessary to proceed with the development of bomb aircraft. That is how the Pe-2 aircraft was created, which originated from the high-altitude WI-100 fighter.
The WI-100 high altitude fighter
In 1938, the NKWD arrested many constructors, including air builders. One of them was Władimir Michajłowicz Petlakow, a talented constructor working at the CAGI Institute. Władimir Petlakov had been arrested and imprisoned in 1938 for allegedly delaying design work on the Tupolew ANT-42 bomber. However, Władimir Petlakow did not go to an ordinary prison. He was given a construction office CBK-29 (OKB-29), in which he and his colleagues, including those arrested, were ordered to build a high-altitude fighter. The work was carried out under guard, and the NKWD constantly monitored its progress.
The plane received a code name of 100, and the letters WI indicate a high-altitude fighter. The task was to build a two-engine high-altitude fighter aircraft with WK-M-105 engines, heavily armed, capable of reaching a maximum speed of over 600 km / h and a flight limit of over 12,000 m. The drive assembly was top-down imposed.
A low-wing system, a completely metal structure, with a retractable landing gear and a hermetic cabin was chosen for the aircraft. The encapsulation of the cabin for Soviet constructors was a novelty. Władimir Petlakow decided to supply the cabin with oxygen from the pressurized bottle. So it was not a traditional hermetic cabin, but a makeshift solution that resulted from lack of time and experience in this field. Despite this, it was expected that the cabin pressure corresponding to the altitude of 3,700 m above sea level could be maintained up to a ceiling of 10,000 m.
The aircraft was designed as a two-seater; a pilot control and a rear shooter. To reduce the weight of the aircraft, some components were abandoned, e.g. radio communication. It was not difficult, because serial production of on-board radio stations was in the CCCP at the initial stage.
The WI-100 was made as a metal structure. The fuselage was slim to get as little aerodynamic resistance as possible. The cabins (front and rear) proved to be very tight, and the work of the pilots was very tiring.
The visibility from the cabins was not the best. The rear shooter, when using machine guns, had to open the cabin, and thus depressurize it and use an oxygen mask. Bulky and inefficient solution. Attempts to mount a machine gun in the tail of the aircraft and control it remotely. However, this project has not been implemented, mainly due to the rush.
The WI-100 aircraft used WK-M-105 engines with two turbochargers for each engine, type TK-2 or TK-3, with a maximum power of 2 x 772 kW (2 x 1 050 hp). Oil coolers were placed in the wings, in the hull parts. The cooling air inlet was placed in the attack of the wings, and the outlets on the upper surface of the wings. It was a popular solution and has been used to this day.
The three-blade metal propellers were used, rotating, with variable pitch adjustment thanks to the hydraulic reducer, which was built under the Hamilton-Standard license.
The WI-100 prototype made its first flight on December 22, 1939, and the crew was Piotr M. Stefanowski and Iwan Markow. During this flight one of the M-105 engines stopped working. The pilot made an emergency landing, but after landing a few times the plane bounced off the ground making jumps. The reason was incorrectly selected shock absorbers. The plane needed to be refined.
In the spring of 1940, two successive prototypes of the WI-100 aircraft were tested. On April 11, 1940, the first prototype was subjected to state assessment. Later, another prototype joined the state trials. It was the third prototype. Unfortunately, in the third prototype, during the eleventh flight there was a failure and a fire was created in the cabin. The crew evacuated parachutes, and the plane crashed. The plane, falling, hit the grandstand where the observers were on the run, which were hurt by running away.
The results of state tests were bad. The assumed performance was poor. The maximum speed was just 538 km / h, instead of the expected 620 km / h. Assembly was poor. The program could not be stopped because nothing else was replaced.
The dive bomber
The technique of bombing from a diving flight was first applied by Yankees. The high accuracy of bombing, and thus its effectiveness, meant that almost all countries became interested in this concept. High accuracy, it allowed to hit on the ground targets of a relatively small area - tanks, machine gun sockets, bunkers, etc. So used aircraft could even to some extent replace artillery, which was not suitable for fighting with moving tanks.
The Germanic army had great achievements in this field, and because Soviet-German friendship was growing (1940), they sold some valuable insights to one another. The Soviets even received several copies of the Ju-88 diving bombers.
War persisted in Europe, and the experience gained showed the uselessness of high-altitude fighters. However, diving bombers proved to be a necessity. Work in CCCP on this type of aircraft went very badly. The SB-2 aircraft, adapted by A. Archangielski, which was marked as Ar-2, was not suitable for the role of a dive bomber and was already outdated. The Polikarpowa SPB aircraft was promising, but a large number of accidents had to stop the work.
Therefore, from May 1940, it was ordered to discontinue work on the WI-100, and in June 1940, from the Kremlin, it was commissioned to build on the basis of the WI-100 a fast bomber dive diver. The task execution time was specified for 45 days. Unbelievable and unfeasible. The plane received the PB-100 designation.
The PB-100 bomber diving
In the new construction, the number of crews was increased to three pilots. The first was the pilot. Behind him, he sat in one person with his back; navigator, shooter and bombardier. If you used a bomber sight, he had to squeeze into the fore part of the plane. The third airman, separately enclosed in an individual cabin, is the lower shooter. The hermetic crew cabins were abandoned, although initially anticipated. Władimir Petlakow wanted to equip the cabins with an encapsulation system. But the plane was to be mass-produced, so the pressure went up in order not to complicate the structure. The cabs were partially armored.
A bomb chamber was placed in the fuselage. Combat weaponry varied significantly.
The fuselage of the plane is a metal construction. But the frames are rare. Along only four beams ran, and there were no stringers. The missing rigidity of the structure was obtained with a slightly thicker plating. As it turned out, this solution was enough and it was a strong point of the plane.
Added aerodynamic brakes with the AP-1 machine, so that the signal from the viewfinder can easily lead the plane from a diving flight or when certain flight parameters have been exceeded. The automaton, however, was unreliable and with time it was given up, controlling the aerodynamic brakes completely by hand.
Double-girder wing. Steel girders. On the trimming of the wings of the crocodile flaps and shuttlecocks. In relation to the wings of the WI-100 aircraft, a different profile was used, due to different flight conditions.
The tail was rebuilt. First of all, it received a larger area. The control system uses electric actuators. A total of over 50 pieces. However, over time, they were replaced with hydraulic amplifiers. The electrical system was left only for fuel pumps, chassis releasing and discharging, and tail wheel control.
The aircraft was equipped with M-105 R engines, which were adapted to work at lower altitudes. The engines do not have turbocharging. Their power has increased by 2 x 1 100 HP. Additional bomb hooks were mounted under the wings. Thanks to this, the plane could carry 1 800 kg of bombs (in theory). Behind the engines, there was so much space in the gondolas that it was decided to use them, either for additional fuel tanks or for bomb bays, for 100 kg bombs.
The prototype of the PB-100 aircraft was created from the reconstruction of the second WI-100 prototype. The first flight was made on December 15, 1940. The preparations for series production were already commissioned at Moscow Factory No. 22. State tests lasted only a month, at the turn of January and February 1941, but at that time it was common practice in CCCP. The Commission made a few comments. Despite several accidents that occurred during the tests, the aircraft exhibited correct volatile properties.
The constructor of the aircraft, Władimir Petlakow, was released from prison in January 1941. He received a medal for his plane. Władimir Petlakow died on January 12, 1942 in an air accident, piloting the Pe-2. He flew by plane from Kazan to Moscow. During the flight there was a fight with Germanic fighters. Stalin ordered the investigation. He made a betrayal - because where did the Germanic forces know about this flight? W. Putinow became the successor of W. Petlakow.
Production of the PB-100 as the Pe-2
The first serial machines slightly differed from the prototype. The cockpit was moved slightly forward, and on the right side of the pilot there was a navigator station. The nose of the plane was more glazed, which allowed for more accurate aiming during the dive. The navigator had the machine gun SzKAS at his disposal. Behind them was a gunner-radio operator position.
According to the opinion of many soldiers, the plane proved to be good, and some say that a great Soviet tactical bomber in the Second World War. Perhaps. There was no western structure to compare it to. Comparing it to the Mosquito plane is an exaggeration. Built in the total number of 11 427 copies of the Pe-2 aircraft.
The Pe-2 at the Second World War
On June 22, 1941, a war began between the CCCP and the Third Reich. The brothers jumped to their throats. On the day of the outbreak of the war, the Soviet air force had 458 bombers, of which 70%, or 377 were SB-2 bombers. The remaining machines are 22 copies the Ar-2, 22 copies the Jak-4 and only 42 copies the Pe-2. In addition, not all newly built the Pe-2 were delivered to the front. In June 1941, 30 copies the Pe-2 were stuck near Minsk where they were taken over by the 13th Air Division, whose pilots themselves learned their pilotage, and then used during fighting in the area of present Belarus.
Among the soldiers, the plane was called "Peszka" affectionately. The fact is that in the hands of experienced pilots, the plane was a formidable weapon. But on the front of such pilots was not enough. Critics were subjected to a difficult start, compounded by poor visibility from the cabin. The take-off and landing procedure was much more difficult than in the old the SB-2.
In addition to the piloting itself, the pilots also had to master a new technique for bombing them from a diving flight, which further aggravated the situation. The effect was that instead of attacking the enemy from the dive, they dropped bombs blindly from a horizontal flight. Their disadvantage was also the fact that there were no airplanes in the school version with duplicated controls and a place for the instructor. The situation was superimposed by the fact that a significant part of the personnel of the CCCP aviation army were young and inexperienced soldiers with a small number of flying hours, and many experienced commanders were killed during the Stalinist purges. For example, in the Leningrad Military District, more than half of the pilots graduated from aerial schools only half a year before the outbreak of war on the Eastern Front.
Despite these difficulties, the Pe-2 fought in the first months of the war with good results, according to the principle, how not quality is the quantity. A fast and quite agile aircraft could successfully operate even during the day when the opponent in the air reigned. We should have written rather, because there was practically no alternative. And without hunting support. For example, on October 5, 1941, the second lieutenant Gorslichin's team fought with nine the Bf-109 fighters and knocked three of them.
Accumulated combat experience forced construction changes. It turned out that four SzKAS rifles did not provide proper defense against German fighters. This weapon often stuttered. Finally, it was decided to replace the SzKAS rifles with UB (UBT) rifles, caliber 12.7 mm, which also brought the expected increase in firepower. The UB rifle was a very effective weapon because its missiles had considerable mass and high initial velocity. The exchange of rifles took place also on already used airplanes.
The Pe-3 fighter
Good parameters of the Pe-2 aircraft and the lack of fast and good range fighter, resulted in the Kremlin's decision to build fighter planes based on the Pe-2. The changes in the structure were not great. The bomb chamber was liquidated and an additional fuel tank was installed in its place. The crew was limited to two pilots. The lower shooting position has been removed. The aircraft was armed with a 20 mm caliber gun and two 12.7 mm machine guns on the lower and upper firing positions, and guides for 132 mm missiles. Only 23 copies were built.
The Pe-2 further variations
At this point, it must be written that it is difficult to talk about the next versions with the Pe-2. In the literature, the authors often give the version of the Pe-2 and the Pe-2 FT. But the problem is that the plane was built in many factories. Various sub-suppliers were used. Even different materials were used and new systems were installed at different times. Even the shape of some elements of the airframe has changed. Thus, planes even from the same production series had significant differences.
At the end of 1941, the Pe-2 production was constantly growing and by December 1, 1941, it reached the level of 1,626 machines. They were assembled in four plants numbered 22, 39, 124 and 125, which after the famous evacuation of factories behind Ural were located in Kazan, where the entire complex dealing with the production of these aircraft was created.
During the production of aircrafts, the external appearance and materials used changed. At the end of 1941, the glazing of the nose decreased, and the tail part was built not of steel, but of wood. In both cases, these materials (organic glass and steel) became strategic.
The regiments at the front needed new aircraft. At the beginning of 1942, plants in Kazan produced 13 aircraft a day. In March 1942, the Factory No. 22 itself produced 108 the Pe-2, and in December 1942 it already had 210 units. But remember that the stick has two ends. This production did not go hand in hand with quality.
The aircraft's modifications continued. The SzKAS rifle, which was used by the radio operator, was converted into a portable version, thanks to which the operator could move it from one side to the other in about thirty seconds and shoot through the holes provided for that in both sides.
In addition, a snow landing kit was developed for the Pe-2, which included dismounted skis screwed to the chassis of the chassis. This set, however, has not found a wider application.
The radio-compass RPK-2 was replaced by a more modern the RPK-10, however, the difficulties of war related to its production caused the use of an older type of the radio-compass. The radio-compass RPK-10 was mounted only on aircraft intended for reconnaissance. Electrical and fuel installations have also changed some. The M-105 RA engines were started to be assembled, still working on better sealing. Efforts have been made to improve amortization and better airframe leakage to minimize fire risk.
The constantly increasing number of the Pe-2 aircraft on the front allowed the use of new combat tactics. Among others. Instead of existing groups consisting of three or nine machines, large groups of 30-70 aircraft appeared, attacking, using the "mill" tactic, creating bombers with a giant inclined wheel with planes mutually shielding themselves with the fire of rifles and dive diver towards the goal.
In 1942 a variant commonly called Pe-2 FT was created. Perhaps one of the most visible changes was the introduction of a rotating MW-3 turret, developed by Mozartowski and Wjeniwidowa. It was turned by hand, but together with the built-in aerodynamic fin. The chair on which the navigator-shooter sat now is also rotated.
Other changes include; The fuel tanks were lined with self-sealing material, i.e. rubber, which, when shot through in contact with the fuel, swelled to block the opening. In addition, in the tanks empty space above the fuel was filled with engine exhaust, which radically reduced the risk of explosion and fire.
In this period, a version of photographic recognition was also created, with an extended range, which was designated Pe-2 R.
The large number of built Pe-2 planes and the solstice on the Eastern Front gave designers time to develop a school version. It was marked with Pe-2 UT. Most of the machines came from the Pe-2 reconstruction. It was one of the strangest school planes. The second pilot's cabin was placed in a separate cabin behind the navigator's cabin. He was a pilot-student. Visibility from it was extremely limited, but it gave the new pilot at least an idea of the plane's reactions to the helm. You can see that the development of this version was guided by the idea of minimizing costs.
In 1943, at the head of the team working on the Pe-2, in place of A. Putinov, W. M. Mjasiszczew, later constructor of the largest strategic bombers CCCP, was appointed. His task was to adjust the Pe-2 to the changing front. The Germans were introducing more better and faster fighters. On the other hand, the performance of the Pe-3 was actually falling. The reason was the increasingly poor quality of used raw materials and low quality of assembly. The assembly at that time was mainly for women and minors who had little technical knowledge, experience and skills. But the constructors had no influence on this. They found, however, that performance could only be improved by increasing engine power. Again, two-speed turbochargers were returned. The engines became stronger and received the designation M-105 PF. Their power increased to 2 x 1 210 hp. The benefits were also for the fighter aviation, because these engines began to be assembled in the Jak-1 and the ŁaGG-3 airplanes. These engines were optimized for operations at low and medium altitudes, which resulted in increased speed, but at the same time reduced the maximum ceiling. To the disadvantage of the new engine was the fact that the Pe-2 propellers were adapted to the old type of engine and could not exploit the full potential of the new engine. Nevertheless, the change of the engine should be regarded as advantageous, because on the Eastern Front, the operations of airplanes took place at low and medium altitudes, and there the performance of the Pe-2 improved.
At the beginning of 1943, the Pe-2 aircraft became a basic bomber plane in Soviet aviation. The old SB-2 were transferred to aviation schools or sent to transport tasks. Aircraft Ar-2 and Jak-4 were mostly destroyed during combat operations.
In the summer of 1943, the Pe-2 took part, on a large scale, in the battle on the Kurski Arch. The high accuracy of bombing made them effective weapons. Only in one day, July 16, 1943, the airmen of one of the corps, consisting of 115 aircraft, destroyed 55 tanks, 229 cars, 11 antiaircraft guns and 3 field guns, as well as a certain number of heavy machine gun emplacements.
In 1943, a new variant of the Pe-2 was designed, with star engines M-82 with a capacity of 2 x 1,540 hp. Increased power allowed for additional, slightly increased speed and ceiling. At the same time, the change of engines in serial airplanes could cause a temporary stoppage of production, and Stalin did not agree, so after producing a trial series involving 135 copies of production of this variant, it was discontinued. These machines became part of the 99th reconnaissance regiment.
As the power unit was exhausted, Stalin instructed the engineers to concentrate on aerodynamics. The work was started at the beginning of 1944, when the Soviet superiority over the German army was already clear, and the victory was a matter of time and successive deaths of millions of people.
The entire silhouette of the plane was smoothed. The front of the engines has new, more streamlined covers. Pitot's tube was moved to the bow. The arrangement of the weapon locks under the wings has also been changed. New propellers marked WISz-61P were used. All these changes resulted in a speed increase of around 30 km / h compared to machines manufactured in 1943.
On some airplanes, the DAG-10 grenade launcher with 10 AG Grenades grenade was used. Their purpose was interesting, because they were not used to attack targets on the ground, but against enemy fighters. Grenades were fired by a radio operator, hampered by a small parachute, on which they fell for 3-5 seconds and then exploded on the path of a fighter bomber chasing.
The naval aviation was used by Pe-2 aircraft against ships and ships. It is true that the task was difficult due to the small range and poor navigation equipment, but as for the conditions of small water bodies such as the Baltic Sea or the Black Sea, they did quite well. Their main successes include the sinking of the German cruiser Niobe and numerous sinking of transports carrying strategic raw materials from Scandinavia to the III Reich.
743 the Pe-2 bombers participated in the "Berlin" operation. The last Pe-2 combat mission in Europe took place on May 7, 1945, and involved the bombing of the DS. (RWY) at Siraw airport, where several German planes prepared to flee to Sweden.
The Pe-2 production stopped in December 1945. Altogether, 11,247 machines of this type were built, more than any other Soviet bomber. Despite such a large number after the end of the war, they were quickly withdrawn from active service and replaced by the more modern the Tu-2. But this only applies to the regiments of the Red Army. The armies were pushed to their armies and served there until 1960. The Pe-2 were used in Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, China, Czechoslovakia and Poland, as described below.
The Pe-2 aircrafts were the most-produced Soviet bomber during Second World WarI. Its participated in battles on all fronts, completing bombing, reconnaissance tasks, and even hunting to some extent. It was also used by naval aviation units. The Pe-2 was a successful plane, but on the CCCP scale, where human life was not, it is not and will not be a value.
The Pe-2 in Polish Military Aviation
In October 1944, on the territory of the CCCP, on the basis of Soviet units, the formation of the 1st Division of Bomber Aviation at the 1st Polish Army. The division was to enter three bomber regiments. Piling up difficulties, and above all the lack of planes, pilots and mechanics effectively inhibited this process. The People's Bomber Aviation did not manage to take part in the battles of World War II.
After the end of hostilities, there was a significant reduction in the Polish Aviation. According to Polish plans, bomb planes were to remain only on the state of the 7th Regiment of Diving Bombers. However, this did not prevent the soviets of the Polish side from squeezing in more than 100 Pe-2 bombers. We do not know how many Soviet airplanes remained in Poland in their units. As of 1 June 1945, there were 100 bombers in the Polish Army, and at the beginning of 1946; in the Mixed Air Corps there were 92 pieces, in the Military School of Pilots 12 pieces, in the Spare Air Regiment of 2 pieces. Therefore, according to the available information, the date of adoption of the Pe-2 aircraft for the Polish Aviation equipment is June 1, 1945.
According to the plan, at the beginning of 1946, the second stage of demobilization of soldiers from the Polish Army began. The basis was the order of the Supreme Command WP No. 019 / org of January 22, 1946, and on the basis of the Major General Fiodor Polonin (soviet), he issued an organizational order of 24 January 1946, in which he ordered to dismantle the 1st Division of Bomber Aviation and On the basis of the 3rd Bomber Aviation Regiment and other disassembled units, create the 7th Independent Air Regiment of Diving Bombers. Leźnica Wielka was designated as the place of stationing. The organizational idea of Polish Aviation was so; 1st, 2nd, 3rd regiment, 4th, 5th, 6th assault regiment and 7th bomb regiment.
The entire 7th SPLBN staff was practically trained. The pilots were only citizens of CCCP. Only some of the flying personnel were Poles. They were navigators or shooters. They were still trained in the CCCP from autumn 1944 to September 1945. The same was with the technical staff. Only part of it were Poles, who came to units in April 1945, after graduating from the school of aviation mechanics in Wolsko on the Volga River in the Saratov region. There were a dozen or so women among the Polish personnel who were in the service of the army. To complement this picture, it is necessary to know that no citizenship positions were taken by Poles.
At the beginning of 1946, all of the Pe-2 planes were decided to gather at one airport and assess their technical condition. The machines in the worst condition went to November 1946, to the Temporary Storage and Maintenance of Airplane Equipment in Polska Wieś near Opole.
The basic task was to train as many Polish pilots as possible, which was an extremely difficult task. In addition to training flights, we managed to use the Pe-2 aircraft for the economy of the ruined country. On 19-22 February 1946, the crews of the aircraft liquidated ice jams on the Vistula near city Grudziądz. 80 explosive bombs were dropped with a total mass of 11,000 kg. A similar action was carried out in March 1947.
Airplanes Pe-2, Po-2 and Jak-9 in flight, residents of Warsaw were shown during the parade on 9 May 1946. 19 Pe-2 machines flew among the air.
The lack of reconnaissance aircraft caused that from August 1946, the crews of the Pe-2 aircraft began to be burdened with tasks of photographing various areas of Poland. Initially sporadic, and then already full-time. The first such task was carried out on August 11, 1946, photographing the Modlin region.
On August 22, 1946, the first Polish commander of 7th SPLBN was Lieutenant Colonel pilot Szczepan Scibor, former squadron commander in the 305 Bomber Squadron in Great Britain.
On September 1, 1946, on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the City of Bydgoszcz and the anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, air shows were organized at the airport in Inowrocław. One of the punks was attacking ground targets with Pe-2 aircraft with the formation of a key from a diving flight at an angle of 60 degrees.
We can speak about Polish pilots flying on the Pe-2 since October 1946, when the top ten pilots sat at their controls in 7th SPLBN, promoted on October 21, 1946, at the OSL in Dęblin. But let us not delude ourselves that the Muscovites went home. Nay. In December 1946, the positions of Soviet advisers were introduced in all air units. A minimum of six advisers of each component of the Regiment. Starting from the post of adviser to the commander of the Regiment, and ending with the adviser to the commander of the commander of on-board equipment. It is true that at the beginning of 1947, most of the soldiers were Polish, but the most important functions were still held by Muscovites.
In April 1947, 7th SPLBN was transferred at Ławica airport. Leap of Great the Pe-2 planes from Leźnica took place on April 12-14, 1947.
Until 1949, despite several accidents and disasters of the Pe-2, everything ended without fatalities. The Soviet pilots, who were mostly veterans of World War II, did a great job for that. Polish airmen were young, with a small coating, and therefore less experienced. They had to put a lot of work into improving their skills. Most of these accidents were caused by engine failures of the WK-M-105, which was beginning to cause the reluctance of Polish pilots to fly on the Pe-2.
On May 17, 1949, the flight was carried out by the Pe-2 crew; ensign pilot Stefan Czapla with an air raid of 200 hours, navigator senior sergeant cadet Roman Kułak, shooter-radiotelegrafista corporal Stefan Dąsal. The flight is made at a height of 400 m, along the rectangle route. Not reaching the fourth turn, the pilot began to make the turn early and the inclination increased by 70 degrees. The machine lost its carrying power and hit the ground. The pilot and navigator were killed on the spot, and the rifleman-radio operator was seriously injured. An unambiguous reason has not been established. The reason for this was the too rapid introduction of the aircraft into a curve, but it is also possible that the left engine failed, which would explain the apparent early start of the bend. Flights on Pe-2 were suspended until May 25, 1949. This tragedy contributed to the discontinuation of exercises in the bombing of a diving flight.
The morale of the flying personnel increased with the start of deliveries of new Tu-2 aircraft, from October 10, 1949. Pe-2 aircraft were practically directed only to perform photographic recognition. The bomb training was carried out only when the bombs were taken from horizontal flight, to which the Pe-2 was not very suitable due to the lack of proper air sights.
At the beginning of 1950, in the 7th SPLBN, the Pe-2 was no longer available, and the machines were transferred to the 21th Regiment of Aviation Scout and 30th Regiment of the Navy. But due to the lack of proper personnel in these units, 7th SPLBN performed tasks in their compositions. At that time, the Regiment changed its name to 7th PLB (Bomber Aviation Regiment).
At that time, post-German military facilities in the western part of Poland, including the airport, were photographed; Kluczewo, Chojna and others. The crews have gained new valuable experiences. One of them was that even in summer, at temperatures over 20 degrees Celsius, you need to wear a winter outfit, so as not to freeze in an unheated airplane.
On September 23, 1950, the Pe-2 crew included; Sec. pilot Zdzisław Piatczyca, navigator second lieutenant Jerzy Janik, shooter-radio-chairman of the platoon Kazimierz Łosicki, made a flight for 30th PL MW. Presumably, due to the sudden deterioration of the weather, the crew lost their orientation and the plane crashed burying the airmen.
The Pe-2 planes unraveled rapidly from the state. From the number of over 100 machines in 1946, about 20 machines were left in 1950. The Pe-2 aircraft were already stationed at Ławica Airport only for 21st PLZ and Słupsk Airport, from where they made flights to 30th PL MW (NAVY).
The disastrous state of the Pe-2 aircraft, the lack of spare parts, and above all new engines, did not result in the decision to withdraw the machines from service. Flights were still being carried out on them, so it was not difficult to find another tragedy. And there was nothing to say about the talent of Polish mechanics.
Another disaster occurred on January 16, 1951, killing the entire crew. The reason was the simultaneous failure of both engines.
On June 10, 1952, another disaster occurred. This time in the center of Poznań. The reason as above. It was the biggest disaster in the history of Polish Military Aviation with the participation of civilians. 10 people died. Loud now because the communists were hiding it for 56 years. We wrote about this catastrophe in a separate article, in the tragedy section.
Officially, the Pe-2 aircraft were withdrawn from service in 1953.
And we can finish this story of the Pe-2 in the Polish Army. The plane had gone away, in a silent fashion, perpetuating the bad opinion of Soviet technology in Polish society. And there is nothing to say about the gigantic number of machines built and successes during the Second World War on the Eastern Front. The only copy we can see at the Polish Army Museum in Warsaw.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman